How to Render & Export in Adobe Premiere Pro

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Rendering in Adobe Premiere Pro

Rendering is when a software tells the computer to draw the graphics for previewing. Rendering doesn't provide a finished project, but it does make scrubbing and previewing videos faster.

A good time to render is when you need to preview a complicated edit; perhaps one with a lot of effects and transitions.

How to Render

To render in Adobe Premiere, find "Sequence" in the main menu and select a rendering type. 

Rendering Types

Under the "Sequence" menu you can find these different render types:

  • If you're rendering everything in a video, choose Sequence > Render In to Out
  • If you're only rendering the effects, select Sequence > Render Effects In to Out
  • If you're only rendering select clips, select the clips and then Sequence > Render Selection
  • If you're only rendering the audio in the video, choose Sequence > Render Audio

screenshot of adobe premiere rendering types

Pre-Render Status

To understand the status of your footage, note the color above the timeline:

  • Not Rendered = Red
  • Pre-Rendered = Yellow
  • No footage/blank spot = No Color
  • Rendered = Green

For example, take a look at the colors beneath the time codes and above the video layers to view the Render Status.

pre-render status screenshot

What is Exporting?

Exporting is the process of finishing a project and creating a movie file which can be viewed on a device.

How to Export Adobe Premiere Pro

To export in Adobe Premiere Pro choose File > Export > Media from the menu. You'll then be able to adjust your settings, including the file size and quality of the film you're exporting. 

Export Settings

Here, you can change settings for the video and audio before exporting. The best export settings for YouTube are:

  • Format: H.264
  • Preset: Match Source - High bitrate
  • Source Range: Entire Sequence

Make sure "Source Range" is set to Entire Sequence. Otherwise it might only export a small portion of the video.

For help setting up basic video settings:

Dimensions: Typical HD videos are 1920x1080, so keep those set.
Render at Max Depth: Box should be checked so the video is high quality. 
Encode Settings & Bitrate Settings: These settings should stay at the default settings, but in case something is changed, keep them as pictured. 
Use Maximum Render Quality: To ensure the best quality videos, check the Use Maximum Render Quality box.

screenshot of adobe premiere pro encoding settings

Exporting the Video

With all of the settings complete, you can save the video.

Save the preset by clicking the Down arrow button next to the Preset. You cannot save over an existing preset, so make sure the Preset is set to "Custom" before trying to save it.

Then, type a name for the preset and check both boxes in the Choose Name dialog box. 

Click OK.

At the bottom of the window, press the Export button. 

The video will probably take some time to export, FYI! Also, it's encouraged to not work in any programs or games on your computer while it's exporting, or it may crash from using too much memory.

A photo of Ryan

Ryan manages blog content at iD Tech, starting with the company in 2008. He earned his MBA from Santa Clara University after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. Connect on LinkedIn!

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